Guilin is part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The city is built around numerous sinkholes which provide its attractive lakes. In Guilin we will visit Elephant Trunk Hill and tour the Karst Research Institute and Museum. Your urge to spelunk may be satisfied by visits to two caverns.

We'll spend one day exploring the Dragon's back bone rice terraces at Longsheng, where local farmers have been growing rice on the hillsides for over 800 years. We'll have a unique chance to learn some of the customs of the Zhuang ethnic group.

A highlight of our entire trip will be a boat ride down the Li River to Yangshuo. We will learn to distinguish Peak Cluster Karst from Peak Forest Karst. Besides all the Karst peaks, we'll see lots of stream features as well as mass wasting along the canyon walls. Some of the cliffs have secondary travertine deposition on the cliff face. Many parts of the river are lined with small fishing villages, including men fishing with cormorants.

In Yangshuo we'll bicycle country roads along the Yulong River, a branch of the Li. Besides marveling at the spectacular scenery, we'll meet local farmers and have a chance to buy cumquats or pick them ourselves off the miniature trees.